Plugging away slowly but surely...what a great day too. I was able to sneak away from my house today for a few hours or more to make pieces for our upcoming firing and generally ponder the meaning of the universe. I have about a 25 minute drive to the studio to think myself into a tizzy...to put my brain in deeper conflict about what it is I should be making. Should I be thinking about more sculptural work or be happy about the promise of new wood fired utilitarian ware. Well, where I ended up mentally today was back in a place that I seem to be allot...surface space...using glazes as abstract backgrounds for the menagerie of clean linear graphics to inhabit. So today I concentrated on creating spaces, some large wall platters...perfect for images, bowls and of course, more cups. Mugs and cups are my fave-O-rite thing...fun to make with endless possibilities of form but more importantly, mugs and cups are the best vehicle for communication. The cup below is one that I made a couple years ago...Nancy has a pair of these, both with a strange bird fired into the surface.
Mugs and cups pull double duty with almost nobody knowing. They are guerrilla in their communication...sneaking up on us while we sip our libations and BAM, we are looking at the surface, noticing whats on the outside of the carrier of our liquid refreshment. There is a great little book, I believe it is from an exhibit that was put together by Garth Clark...its called "The Book of Cups". Among other subjects, the book addresses the history of decalcomania and states that..."this technique has allowed the potter to produce an endless number of pieces that are identical...it has allowed the cup to become an outspoken propagandist and advertising device...the printed mug has since become a communications medium of some consequence". Needless to say, not only can the message be direct but it can be complex and intricate and composed of both private and personal meanings. So, regardless of the function of the work I am making, I can create space...space for these ideas to live.